I went to my regular weekly doctor's appointment on July 16th. My blood pressure had been running high for a few weeks and my medicine has been changed a few times but it was quite a bit higher than it had been so the doctor ordered a couple tests. The next day I got a call from her that I definitely had Preeclampsia and had to begin bed rest immediately and head to the hospital Sunday evening to be induced. I wanted to make it to 38 weeks so bad, but, that wasn't going to happen.
I headed to the hospital Sunday evening with my awesome husband, parents, in-laws and some amazing friends! It was a very long night. The nurses tell you to sleep and rest constantly yet people are in and out of the room every 5 minutes touching you and doing stuff to you. AND, the beds are AWFUL! Monday morning Dr. Midkiff broke my water and they upped the dosage of Pitocin. My blood pressure was still high so I was given a Magnesium drip. Yuck! My Mom, Katie and LeeAnne stayed with me all night helping comfort me and get me water and cold cloths for my head. They were awesome!
I labored all day Monday with my awesome support team taking turns comforting me, massaging my back, bringing me water and singing to me. (more on that later). Mid-day, I was really feeling pain and getting uncomfortable, the nurse suggested we go ahead and get the epidural. So, a very nice man from Anesthesiology came in and we did the epidural. Bob was great at supporting me and keeping me calm and still through it.
I kept telling everyone I was still feeling pain and discomfort and something wasn't right. I wanted to get up and walk and move around SO bad but wasn't allowed to, obviously. At one point I was crying out to my Mom and God-Mother, Phyllis and begging them for help. They began praying and then rubbing my legs and back and singing the old hymn, "Rolled Away,,," Now it is forever stuck in ALL of our heads. Anyways, My amazing nurse Jody, after several hours of me crying and being in the worse pain of my life, finally called in a another Anesthesiologist and she re-did the epidural and it took this time. Yes!!! I was able to actually get some rest and deal with the pain I was feeling, which now felt more like pressure.
Late in the day Monday I was progressing finally and they were checking me and as they were, Chloe's heart rate dropped drastically and they called a "Code Blue." Totally scary. I have never seen so many people run into my room and immediately begin doing stuff to me and the machines. One nurse grabbed an oxygen mask and threw it on me and told me to stay calm. Stay calm? UHHH, I begged them to tell me what was wrong, but the charge nurse just kept yelling, "Get Midkiff on the phone and prep the ER!" I heard another nurse yell out in the hallway to get OR 1 ready immediately,
I was so tired and felt very drugged but I began praying and singing. I begged God to protect both babies. Within a few minutes her heart rate stabilized and things settled and I continued to labor.
Finally, in the middle of the night, which was now, Tuesday, the 21st, it was GO time. I remember them finally saying it was time to prep to take me to the OR to actually deliver the babies. Bob got his scrubs on and they made my Mom and God-Mother leave the room and they wheeled me to the OR. My amazing Dr. Midkiff met me in there and shortly after sweet Dr. Owens showed up. I could write a book on how wonderful these two women are, but, maybe I'll save this for another post....anyways, within a few minutes Chloe Elizabeth was born at 2:46AM. She had a head full of hair and let out a wail of a cry. They brought her to me but I couldn't hold her as I had to begin laboring to deliver Hannah. Chloe weighed 5lbs 8oz and was 18 1/2 in. long. She looked JUST like her Daddy!
Chloe was taken to the nursery and Bob was able to walk out and show her off to our crew! Dr. Midkiff broke my water again and we began to labor. While I was delivering, Dr. Owens, was on the ultrasound machine watching both babies to make sure Hannah cooperated and stayed put.
I noticed rather quickly the looks on Dr. Midkiff's face as well as some of the nurses and Bob's that something wasn't right. Dr. Midfiff kept trying to work with Hannah to get her to cooperate but she had reached up and grabbed her umbilical chord and pulled it around her neck. Dr. Midkiff then gave a look to Bob and said, "We need to do a c-section now." The nurses and staff immediately scooted back and things got crazy....I looked at Bob in a panic and said, "No, Pray now, pray!"
Within seconds, Dr. Owens saw that Hannah had released the chord and was ok. But, I was not dialated back to an 8 and we could not deliver yet. So, Dr. Midkiff said, let's wait a bit and keep laboring.
Now, here's where it gets a little funny. We all thought it would be a few minutes of labor. Not hours. I remember talking to Dr. Midkiff and Dr. Owens and to Bob. Then I fell asleep. I was SO drugged and the Magnesium Drip made me so incredibly tired. Here I was, just given birth to one baby and lying on an operating room table that was SO incredibly uncomfortable.
But, at one point, a nurse walks in holding this little wrapped up baby and she says, "Mommy, would you like to hold your baby?" So, they allowed me to sit up and Chloe was placed in my arms. Best feeling ever! I was so incredibly doped up that I couldn't hold her long because I was falling asleep! But I got to give her kisses and love on her for a few minutes.
After a while, they decided since Chloe was already born there was no reason to keep me in the OR that I could go back to my labor room and be there til it was time to deliver Hannah. So, they wheeled me back and put me in the other bed. I began the whole process over.
Finally, at 10:00 that morning I was in so much pain an so exhausted. I begged the nurse to please get Dr. Midkiff on the phone that I needed to talk to her. So many opinions were flying around at this point. It had been 8 hours since I had delivered Chloe and we were on the clock since my water had been broken.
With tears in my eyes, I asked Dr. Midkiff to come check me and help me make the best decision on whether to have a c-section or keep going and try to deliver Hannah naturally. She came and was in my room within an hour or so.
Finally, we reached a decision that I needed to have a c-section. Within minutes, Bob was scrubbed up again and they had me ready to go back to the OR. At 11:30 AM Hannah Grace was born! My little spit-fire baby girl weighed 5lbs 12 oz and was 19 in.long. She was beautiful. I got to give her a quick kiss and then Bob went with her and the nurses to the nursery.
After a time in recovery the nurse wheeled in two little isolettes with my babies in them and she placed both of them in my arms! What a moment!
Excuse the awful pic of me- I had had very little sleep, not been able to eat or drink or shower for over 40 plus hours! ugh! But, somehow that didn't matter as much.....I had my baby girls in my arms and they were perfect!.
I know many have asked and assumed many things about my birth story, Trust me, I've heard it all. No one wants to have twins 9 1/2 hours apart and have one vaginally and one c-section. But, it can be done. I have healed very well and feel great. Now, I am not recommending everyone having twins does it, so don't send me messages telling me I am crazy!
I can't write this blog and not talk about my Doctors and medical team. I am thankful for my amazing medical team at Dr. Midkiff and Dr. Owens office. I can not say enough about them. Deanna and Jennifer, the Nurse Practitioners are equally as wonderful and I knew I was always in great hands, Dr. Midkiff is a wonderful, godly woman and her compassion and love for what she does shines through. Dr, Owens is also great and I love her sense of humor as well as her sensitivity to patients and their needs.
I began going to the office twice a week for NST's and had the best time talking with Kim and Emily, sitting in the comfy chair and once in a while getting a little can of diet coke from Kim! Emily, throughout my whole pregnancy was my sounding board. I had to call her twice a week with my blood sugar numbers and later my blood pressure readings. She was kind of like my liaison with the doctors. I saw Kim for my NST's and she made me laugh like no one else.We had more fun in that room than we were probably supposed to but, I never dreaded my appointments. I am thankful for that and glad I now have some great new friends, too!
Ok, now onto the big questions I am getting asked daily.
1. Why did your doctor allow you to labor so long between babies?
Well, the plan was I would labor minutes or maybe an hour and deliver Hannah vaginally. I had made my wishes known to her that, if it was possible I wanted to have them vaginally. She supported that and so that remained our goal. However, after the 9 1/2 hours between and me not progressing back, a c-section was necessary.
2. Why did you decide to have the babies in IL and not TN?
The answer is simple. Dr. Midkiff! She was my doctor before I was married and I loved her!!! When I found out I was pregnant, I went to my OB I had in Nashville and his plan of action for my pregnancy was just not what we were comfortable with. I called and consulted with Dr. Midkiff and after much prayer and discussion with a few close friends and my Mom, we knew having them in IL was the best answer. We did not have insurance at the time either and that also factored in. With twins, I knew I would need extra help especially with Bob on the road and the help I needed is in IL. I know many have questioned me on this decision but I don't regret it one bit and it was the right decision and I would do it all again this way.
I also can't finish this post without mentioning the awesome support team who hung in for the long haul with me at the hospital. My parents, Phyllis (my god-mother), bff's Thad and Katie, my sweet Emma, LeeAnne, Amanda, and my in-laws were troopers to stay and encourage, pray, sing and provide some needed laughter. They need to write their own blogs about their perspective , I've heard some pretty funny stories!
All this to say, I am so thankful for my beautiful baby girls. Chloe and Hannah are so precious and are growing already. They were one month old yesterday! So hard to believe! I can't believe God chose to bless us in this way. Mommy-hood is wonderfully beautiful, fun, tiring but the best feeling in the world! And my husband, well he is an off the chain, wonderful Daddy! He is right there with me when they need fed,changed, comforted or held. He is amazing!
And, before I go, I can not say thank you enough to all of our friends and supporters praying for us and the babies. My entire pregnancy I knew I was being prayed for. I knew, through every moment, God had His hand upon my girls and that He had a great plan for their lives. We have awesome friends and are so blessed.
We love you!
Our first selfie- Wilkerson Party of 4!
I'll be back soon to share Hannah's story....